(Family Features) Smiling with glee at the tickle of a toe, flying paper airplanes in the wind and jumping rope in the schoolyard are all signs of a happy and healthy childhood. Yet millions of children worldwide lack access to the nutrients their bodies and minds need to play, to imagine and develop.
In developed countries, our most basic foods have been fortified with essential vitamins and minerals for more than 50 years.
A startling reality
Vitamin A is one of these essential nutrients that many children are lacking. In fact, an estimated 190 million children under five suffer from vitamin A deficiency. This vitamin is essential to our ability to see correctly and protect our bodies' against infection. Approximately 670,000 lives of children under five are lost each year from vitamin A deficiency. Without commonly fortified foods, such as milk, sugar, margarine and oil, would you be getting enough vitamin A?
These facts inspired Traveling Chef Ashley Mulligan to team up with the nonprofit organization, Vitamin Angels, on their "Give Childhood" campaign. Vitamin Angels' "Give Childhood" campaign aims to raise awareness for the problem of undernutrition. According to Vitamin Angels, 25 cents allows the organization to give one child the vitamin A he or she needs for an entire year. In fact, when just one dose is taken twice a year, the mortality rate for children under the age of five is reduced by about 24 percent in at-risk populations. Learn more about the "Give Childhood" campaign at vitaminangels.org/givechildhood.
Traveling for change
Chef Mulligan has been on the road in search of flavor and inspiration for seven years. Her search has brought her to Spain and Morocco each year, with detours to Asia and Central America that have kept her curious and enchanted by the diverse food cultures of the world. It's with these travels and her continued support of Vitamin Angels in mind, that Chef Mulligan shares the below vitamin A rich Spiced Moroccan Carrot Salad recipe. Carrots, along with other orange and red vegetables are a great source of vitamin A. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one medium sized carrot contains 203 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin A based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Chef Mulligan's recipe is to remind us of the importance of vitamin A and increase awareness of the problem of undernutrition worldwide.
Recipe: Spiced Moroccan Carrot Salad with Black Olives
- 16 ounces heirloom carrots
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup oil cured black olives (optional)
- Peal and grate carrots into large bowl.
- In small bowl, whisk together spices, salt and pepper with zest and juice of 1 orange and olive oil. Pour spiced dressing over grated carrots along with chopped parsley.
- Oil cured olives can be pitted, chopped and tossed in with carrots, or decorated whole on top.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.